Vilnius city guide…
Sveiki from Vilnius! Vilnius and Lithuania are not places I’ve had on my to-travel list. But when one of my besties told us she wanted to get married in her home country, the opportunity to travel to a different part of the world and also celebrate my friend’s wedding was something I wasn’t going to say no to. So last Friday, myself and two of my lovely friends Laura and Lucinda got ourselves on a plane and travelled to one of the Baltic regions. As the wedding was on Saturday and we landed Friday afternoon, we had less than 24 hours in the capital. However, I’m a master traveller and had done loads of research before we travelled, making sure we got most of the time we had in Vilnius. They don’t call me Field Marshall Hufflepuff for nothing (inside trip joke). So, let me introduce you to my Vilnius city guide…
HOW TO GET AROUND.
Travel wise, flights are limited to Vilnius. We took Ryanair, the only flight there was to the city that weekend (it was a very early flight). However, the flight was direct and fairly cheap (about £100 for a return when booked in advance). Looking on my Skyscanner App, there seem to be a few other flights from Manchester airport and of course, London airports.
Once you arrive, getting around the city is so easy. They have Uber and it was roughly 10 minutes drive from the airport to Old Town. As much as it’s the capital, it’s small. So walking around is the best way to travel across the city. For parts that are a little further out, grab yourself a taxi. Walking wise, it is very up and down with the hills! Pack yourself some sensible shoes. Leave the wedges at home.
Accommodation wise, we stayed in the Old Town part of Vilnius at a hotel called Grotthuss Boutique Hotel. Our hotel was a charming place down a side street. They had Molton Brown products in the bathroom. They did not have free cups of tea available (not good in an English girl’s eyes). It’s something I’m learning about independent hotels in European cities. The Airbnb also seems to have some nice places where you can crash. Our main priority was finding somewhere close to Old Town and near to the hotel we were getting picked up from the next day to go to the wedding. As far as we were concerned, we had found a gem of a hotel to rest our weary heads.
WHERE TO EAT.
With a short amount of time in Vilnius, we had limited time to visit all the places that I had saved on Instagram. Sadly also, we didn’t manage to find anywhere amazing that served traditional Lithuanian food. I did, however, have some traditional food at the wedding and I can definitely say it was very yummy. Once off the plane, our first meal was at Cafe Montmartre. The mussels were absolutely delicious! The one thing I also learnt food-wise, everything is so bloody cheap. All three of us had a large meal each and shared a bottle of bubbly and it came to €40. Bloody brilliant.
There were some other places that I wanted to go to add to my Vilnius city guide but sadly, we either couldn’t find them, they weren’t open or they weren’t quite right for the meal we were after. Some notable places that I saved to my Lithuania Collection on Instagram were Rene, Habit and Desertine Atostogos. Brunch wise, I heard Beigelistai was meant to be amazing, but for the life of me I could not locate it. We ended up going to Sugamour as it was around the corner from our hotel. It was nice, but not as amazing as some of the reviews had said. Was a tad disappointed, to be honest.
Coffee-wise, I heard Backstage Cafe is really good. Brew is the best (husband checked out what they were all about and approved). The morning after we arrived, we also went to this amazing doughnut place to pick up some treats and coffee. Holy Donut is so cool and their doughnuts are delicious! Well worth picking up a box of a dozen, they are only €15 for six!
WHERE TO EXPLORE.
Vilnius is a lovely city to wander around and explore. But in terms of things to do, I’m afraid to say this section of the Vilnius city guide is going to be very short. There are plenty of gorgeous pastels coloured churches to look at, take an Instagram of and maybe even have a wander into. But that’s very much it. There is some amazing street art that you’ll find dotted around the city (gutted again we couldn’t locate the Trump/ Putin mural). There is also the lovely Jewish Quarter in Old Town, which is full of tiny cobbled streets, cute cafes and the old signs written in Hebrew. A very peaceful part of the city.
There were two places I did want to see but couldn’t due to the fact they are outside the city centre. The first being Verkiai Regional Park, full of lakes, cycle paths and places to have a picnic. The other being Trakai Island Castle, which looks amazing! Should I ever come again, I’m definitely hitting these places up.
VILNIUS CITY GUIDE.
My conclusion is Vilnius is a wonderful, beautiful place. I’m glad I’ve visited it and ticked it off my list of countries that I’ve been to. But in all honesty, I don’t think I would go again. If there happened to be some very cheap flights and I was looking for a long weekend away, then yes, I think I would plan a little city break there. Like I said, I’m glad I’ve been. The trip itself was once in a lifetime and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Have you been to Vilnius? Check out my other travel posts here on the blog.